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AGC: Chris Launius, CM

Carolyn Koh Posted:
Interviews 0

Gods and Heroes: Interview from AGC

Community Manager Chris "Binky" Launius talks about some interesting plans Perpetual has

At AGC we met up with Chris “Binky” Launius, the Community Manager for Perpetual’s Gods and Heroes for a quick chat about the progress of Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising.

Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising is slated for release in early 2007 and at this time, Launius informed us that the development team is finalizing and polishing a lot of systems. The newbie player experience has been revamped and they are planning the first public testing phase of the game.

In Gods and Heroes, the story is wrapped around everything and design decisions were based closely on the story. For example, the death penalty: In the lore of Gods and Heroes, your character is the son or daughter of the Gods. Thus, you are immortal and your God resurrects you. Practically speaking, when your character dies, you have three options you may choose to appease your God and return to Earth. The first is the traditional corpse run, the second a small experience debt and the third a simple tithe. The three options let players get right back into the action, if they’re in a bind or a rush, or take a less painful, but slightly more time consuming option.

Perpetual is also working on the completion of a customizable “My Gods and Heroes” website where subscribers will be able to decide what modules of the website they want to see on their front page. All data will be internalized and players will not need to go to 3rd party sites to find out the stats of any particular item.

Eventually, Launius believes players should be able to do anything from the website they could do in game save actually playing the game. This includes managing your inventory, messaging friends, etc. Although, he did say that the in-game/out-game email system may be a post-launch feature.

Perpetual also made some waves earlier this year when they announced that Sony Online Entertainment would publish Gods and Heroes. Launius stressed that SOE is only responsible for marketing and getting the game boxes onto the retail shelf. Everything else is controlled by Perpetual, including the customer service, community and billing.

Perpetual does not yet have an official stance on the secondary gold farming market, although Launius did say that he believes proper game design can make the issue irrelevant.

Currently, they are working with some high-profile player guilds in order to obtain feedback for the type of content that large guilds and high-level guilds are seeking in a game. This interactive design process means things like raid sizes are still being defined and will only be decided after testing.

I asked what Perpetual considered a “large” guild and was informed that was 200 – 300 active players. At this time, Launius told me that Stieg Hedlund, Gods and Heroes’ Design Director, had chosen to attend The Syndicate guild’s annual meeting / gamers conference in order to obtain further insight into the issue.

The publishing deal they announced with SOE has left Perpetual with a lot more time and energy to put into Gods and Heroes and over the next few months they really hope to cram the game full of content and extra polish in anticipation of its eventual launch.

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Carolyn Koh

Carolyn Koh / Carolyn Koh has been writing for MMORPG.com since 2004 and about the MMO genre since 1999. These days she plays mobile RTS games more, but MMOs will always remain near and dear to her heart.